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Recently, I had the good fortune of conducting a joint interview with Don Schuerman, chief technology officer and vice president of product marketing at Pegasystems on the topic of customer experience.

Don brought an intriguing perspective to the table from more than 20 years on the technology side, working directly with companies to operationalize digital initiatives.

You can listen to the interview here, but I also wanted to share some highlights from the conversation:

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The market is changing, whether we like it or not: Customer expectations are sky-rocketing, and brands are being forced to compete on the basis of the experiences they enable. Ignoring these rapidly increasing expectations might not immediately damage customer relationships, but over time, customers will disengage and move on. Cumulatively, this could cause crippling long-term effects on a business.

Consistent and compelling experiences never happen by accident: Optimizing customer experience requires a very conscious and focused effort from organizational leadership. The technology and channels adopted by customers are changing quickly and that requires a reciprocal effort on the part of the brand.

Large organizations face large roadblocks: The larger and more widely distributed a brand is, the more fragmented their message can become. Unfortunately, customers can get lost in the shuffle. As a business grows and becomes less agile, they face unique challenges in staying connected with their client base.

Success is very possible with the right mindset: There are many businesses, both large and small, that are seeing tremendous gains by refocusing on the customer, such as jumps in loyalty levels, retention, repeat purchases, and long-term value. But there is no silver bullet; it’s an evolutionary process that must attack problems “customer first.”

Please take a moment to listen to the full interview here (audio).

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Experience is everything…read my new book, X!